Xochi – Wine & Spirits Magazine

Xochi


photo by Julie Soefer

In a luminous space in Houston’s new Marriott Marquis, Xochi is chef Hugo Ortega’s homage to Oaxaca. Ortega, who won the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Southwest Chef, puts the wood-burning horno to good use, turning out succulent roasted meat and seafood, but it’s worth exploring the more “traditional” preparations as well: Among the seven moles Ortega puts out is one made with ants (chicatana); the appetizer queso de rancho is made with three types of insects. The wine selection is equally fascinating: beverage director Sean Beck offers 170 labels, from a debina from Greece to an old-vine, dry-farmed carignan from Chile, and showcases 20 from Mexico, including Santo Tomás Uva Blanca, made from the mission grape. Of course no Oaxacan homage would be complete without mezcal: Beck’s selection runs 28 pages.

1777 Walker St., Houston, Texas

Mexican

713-400-3330

Jamal Rayyis is a NYC-based writer, editor and educator—and copy editor for this magazine. A pioneer in covering Middle Eastern wine, he is at work on a book on the politics of wine in the Middle East and occasionally updates his blog at palatesavvy.com.


This story appears in the print issue of August 2017.
Like what you read? Subscribe today.